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Functionality of the committee, and maintainership disputes

Many of you will have already seen that I have decided to unilaterally
re-add myself to the list of dpkg maintainers and unilaterally remove
Guillem Jover.  My reasons are explained in that mail there and I
don't want to go into them in detail here.

But there are two issues that are relevant to the committee now.

Firstly, I think the committee is not doing its job.  I've been very
frustrated with the lack of progress.  I think we need to fix this.
I'm all ears for suggestions but I think more is needed than promises
to try harder.  One possibility would be a radical expansion (to up
to 15, perhaps), which with a sqrt(N) quorum would leave a quorum of

Secondly, I think we need to clarify what to do if a dispute about
ownership of a package were to come to the TC, when one of the
contenders is the TC member in question.

The Constitution doesn't say that a TC member shouldn't vote on such a
dispute; it only says that it shouldn't do so when it's the TC member
that is perhaps being overruled.  I think this is a bug.

I think the idea that a TC member should be able to vote on whether to
overrule for a bug they have submitted is fine; in practice the
supermajority requirement) is large enough to stop abuses.  The
alternative is that TC members would feel reluctant to (for example)
hear an informal report from someone of a problem and champion getting
it fixed.

So I would suggest that the Constitution should be amended to say that
a TC member may not vote (other than a casting vote) on whether or not
they are the maintainer of some package.  And of course we should all
pretend that that is what it says.

Certainly if the dpkg dispute makes its way here I will argue my
corner vigorously but will not vote.


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